Still quite shy of its target and last year’s performance, the export of 60,000 tons of coffee has generated USD 204 million during the first quarter of the current fiscal year, The Reporter has learnt.

The performance report released by the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Development and Marketing Authority this week shows that the export of coffee from July to September, 2018, has once again failed short of expectation securing USD 204 million.

Accordingly, the report indicates a sluggish achievement in the coffee export sector both in the volume and value. The target set for the first quarter of the year was USD 247 million from an export of 68,000 tons of coffee. Needless to say, the performance failed to live up to both the export revenue and volume target.

The report also shows, the performance is far from last year’s. During the same period last fiscal year, the export of some 56,000 tons of coffee had brought in USD 215 million. Though the first quarter saw, a 3,353 additional tonnage of export of coffee, representing a six percent increment, a USD 32 million or an 11 percentage decline has been recorded in actual revenue.

In spite of missing its targets and previous year’s achievements, coffee still represents 10 percent of the overall export revenue of the nation. High price volatility coupled with global monopolies in the hands of a few multinationals, the coffee business still remains a major source of hard currency to Ethiopia. Last year, out of the USD 2.9 billion total export receipts, coffee represented USD 850 million.

A special issue of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) dubbed: Commodities at a glance-special issue on Coffee in East Africa featured Ethiopia as the birth place of Coffee Arabia. The report acknowledges Ethiopia’s historical significance and its contribution to the global coffee sector as early as 500 AD where the first Arabica Origins landed in Yemen to spread across Europe and the Middle East.